Housing finance racket a very small incident: Montek

New Delhi: The Planning Commission today termed the housing finance racket, involving the chief of LIC Housing Finance and several other officials of PSU banks, as a "very small" incident as far as banking system as a whole was concerned, reports PTI.

The reaction from Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia comes a day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested LIC Housing Finance CEO Ramachandran Nair and seven other senior bankers on charges of corruption and criminal conspiracy.

"I do not think we should make too much of a particular incident (housing scam)...the scale (size of the scam) we are talking about... is very small as far as banking system as a whole is concerned," Mr Ahluwalia told reporters here.

He said he was sure that the authorities concerned have taken steps against the involved party and the banking system to send out the right signals.

"I think our banking system is pretty well regulated.

Both the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the ministry (finance), I am sure, are doing whatever is necessary to send the right signal," he said.

Last night, the finance ministry had said that the housing finance racket was a bribery case involving some individuals and not a large-scale scam and that the banking system was sound.

"NPAs (non-performing assets) are minimal in housing loans-less than 1%. There is no impact on asset quality of banks," minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena had said.

The finance ministry had yesterday sought details of housing finance racket from LICHFL, Bank of India, and Punjab National Bank.

As per the reports, LICHFL assured its investors, customers and business associates that all necessary steps would be taken to ensure that interests of various stake holders are fully protected.

Central Bank of India has said there was no impact of the development on its asset quality.

According to the CBI, bank officials allegedly colluded with Mumbai-based firm Money Matters Ltd to sanction large scale corporate loans, overriding mandatory conditions for such approvals along with other irregularities.

Rajesh Sharma, CMD of Money Matters and two of its employees-Suresh Gattani and Sanjay Sharma-were also among those arrested.

Those others arrested by the CBI include Naresh K Chopra, secretary (investment), LIC, R N Tayal, general manager of Bank of India (Delhi), Maninder Singh Johar, director (chartered accountant) of Central Bank of India and Venkoba Gujjal, deputy general manager of Punjab National Bank (Delhi).


Personal finance Thursday

Birla Sun Life MF unveils Birla Sun Life Fixed Term Plan-Series CI; UBI partners Nokia, Obopay to launch mobile financial services; Diesel-powered Nissan Micra to hit Indian roads in December 2010

Birla Sun Life MF unveils Birla Sun Life Fixed Term Plan-Series CI

Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund has launched Birla Sun Life Fixed Term Plan-Series CI, a close-ended growth scheme.

The scheme seeks to generate income by investing in a portfolio of fixed-income securities maturing on or before the duration of the scheme.

The exit load for the scheme is nil. The new issue opens on 25th November and closes on 26th November. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000.

The scheme is benchmarked against CRISIL Short Term Bond Fund Index. The scheme shall be managed by Kaustubh Gupta.

UBI partners Nokia, Obopay to launch mobile financial services

State-run Union Bank of India has partnered with Nokia and global mobile payment solutions provider Obopay to launch 'Union Bank Money', a service that would provide access to financial services through mobile phones.
The initiative is meant to empowering people and their businesses, the bank said in a press release.

"Once the roll-out of this service is complete in 12-18 months, Union Bank Money will provide mobile financial services to consumers in urban as well as rural areas," Union Bank of India, chairman and managing director, MV Nair said.

The release said that users could pay bills or top-up their own or families' prepaid SIM cards through the scheme and would also be able to do person-to-person (P2P) transfers, as well as use it at accepting merchant points to make payments for goods and services.

The scheme would allow users to withdraw money from the bank ATMs using their Union Bank Money ATM card across the country as well as through BC cashout (Registered Nokia stores), the release said .

Diesel-powered Nissan Micra to hit Indian roads in December 2010

Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd has said that the diesel variant of Nissan Micra will hit Indian roads in December 2010. The nationwide sales for the diesel-powered Micra would start from 10th December. The diesel-powered Micra would come with fuel economy of 23.08 kmpl.

The diesel-powered Nissan Micra will be available in two variants of XV and XV (premium). Available with greige interiors, it will be introduced in a range of six colours. The Nissan Micra Diesel will be marketed and sold in India and subsequently will be exported to South Africa next year. The Micra diesel offers intelligent key plus immobilizer, a push-button engine start-stop system and electric foldable mirror.


GMIAL achieves fin closure to operate Male Int’l airport

Hyderabad: GMR Male International Airport Pvt Ltd (GMIAL), a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Ltd (GIL), today said it has achieved financial closure for the project to modernise, expand and operate the Male International Airport, reports PTI.

The total cost of the project, estimated at $511 million, is being funded through a combination of debt and equity in the ratio of 70:30, the company said in a statement.

The debt component of $358 million has been tied up with Axis Bank Ltd, Singapore branch, which is acting as the sole underwriter and mandated lead arranger for the entire debt facility.

The debt has a door-to-door tenure of 12 years with ballooning repayment over seven years commencing from June 2015.

Axis Bank is also acting as a security trustee and facility agent whereas State Bank of India, Maldives branch is acting as account bank for the debt facility.

Meanwhile, the GMR-Maldives Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) consortium was awarded the contract in June for the Male Airport for a period of 25 years.

GMIAL is the special purpose vehicle formed in Maldives pursuant to the concession in which the stake of GIL and MAHB is 77% and 23% respectively.

The GMR-MAHB consortium proposed to pay $78 million as upfront fee, 1% of the total profit in the first year (until 2014) and 10% of the profit from 2015 to 2035. It also agreed to pay 15% of fuel trade revenues in the first four years and 27% from 2015 to 2035.

At an official ceremony held today at Hulhule Island, the aerodrome license was handed over by Ibrahim Saleem, chairman of Male Airports Company Ltd, to Kiran Kumar Grandhi, business chairman, airports, GMR Group in the presence of Maldivian president, Mahamod Nasheed and his cabinet ministers.

Starting from today, GMR and MAHB will operate the Male International Airport for 25 years.

Male International Airport is the gateway to the idyllic and enchanting Maldives and is one of the fastest growing airports in the region located on Hulhule Island in the south western tip of India.

The traffic at the Male Airport in the year 2009 stood at 2.6 million passengers with traffic growth in first half of 2010 clocking over 20% on YoY basis.

With Male, the GMR Group has four operational airports. The others being Delhi, Hyderabad and Istanbul.


We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.

To continue

Sign Up or Sign In


To continue

Sign Up or Sign In



The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)